When we think of pets, lizards are the last thing that comes to mind. Even though we see them regularly either in our gardens or backyards, most of us cannot fathom the idea of them entering our home except for a few we take as pets, such as bearded dragons. Therefore, what they can and cannot eat is the least of our concerns regarding their nutrition.
Lizards can eat anything from plants to insects, depending on their feeding group. They can be insectivores, omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores; hence their diet can consist of plant matter to animal matter.
Lizards live in almost every country, and although it is believed that most lizards are carnivores, this isn’t entirely true as a large chunk of them are insectivores. Smaller percentages are herbivores and omnivores, but it’s difficult to say what a lizard eats just by seeing them. 5
You can only feed them after learning what feeding group they fall into and their dietary needs. We have stated that lizards can eat a diet with plant matter above, so let’s look at the fruits and vegetables you can feed lizards.
Top 10 Fruits & Vegetables For Lizards
Fruit and vegetables are a large part of a lizard’s diet, especially omnivores. If you own one as a pet, it is vital to know the suitable fruits and vegetables you can feed them to fulfill your duty as a pet owner because several fruits and vegetables can be toxic. Let’s see some top fruits and vegetables you can feed them.
Lizards enjoy apples and do not favor any particular variety. You could generally feed them a green and red apple, but you should peel the flesh and cut the fruit into bits before feeding it to a reptile. In addition, the seeds are toxic to lizards, so they should all be removed.
A good source of antioxidants, you should feed it to lizards in moderation. Blueberries are tiny, so we could serve them whole or divided into two smaller pieces for a small lizard.
Strawberries and Grapes
These fruits are high in oxalates and are great treats for lizards. You can prepare the strawberry for your pet by removing the top and stem, then chopping them into tiny shapes. You could utilize the same methods for grapes, but it is better to avoid grapes with seeds.
Lizards love yellow squash. The vegetable should be finely chopped or shredded before being fed to them. They can also eat other squashes, such as butternut.
Melons, in general, are great for lizards. It would help if you finely chopped them and discarded the grids and core before feeding them to reptiles. Serving a lizard one melon ball is enough for a small lizard per day. Lizards could also eat other melons like canary, casita, and Crenshaw.
Typically, prunes are rich in fiber and can help with bowel movement. Still, they shouldn’t be fed to a lizard regularly just like other fruits because, unlike vegetables, they give less benefit to a lizard’s nutrition.
Here’s an excellent veggie for a lizard, but we should avoid feeding them iceberg lettuce as they mostly contain water which should be readily available in a reptile’s environment. You should tilt towards providing lizards with dark green lettuce such as Boston, red leaf, baby spinach because they naturally offer more nutritional value.
You might want to avoid romaine lettuce because it contains an ingredient that doesn’t allow reptiles to absorb calcium properly.
Celery is a good staple veggie to feed a lizard, and they can eat both the stalk and leaves. You can either shred or chop it into smaller bits; ensure it is small enough for them not to choke on it. Although celery is nutritionally poor and can inhibit calcium absorption in reptiles, mixing them in a lizard’s diet alongside other vegetables makes a balanced diet.
If your lizard is an insectivore, you might even feed insects celery before feeding them to lizards. They are more nutritious that way.
Again, another staple vegetable. You should remove the stem of this veggie, and the vegetable should be chopped or shredded before being fed to a lizard. Collard greens have several health benefits for your lizard, alongside being a great source of calcium. They are also rich in fiber, folate, and some vitamins.
Here’s another dark, leafy staple veggie that can take center stage in a lizard’s diet. These greens are filled with more nutrients needed for reptiles to remain healthy. Other acceptable vegetables include broccoli, clover, red or green cabbage, green beans, and bell pepper.
Additional reading: Pacman Frog: What You Need To Know About Its Care
What Human Food Can Lizards Eat?
There are over 6000 species of lizards in the world, all classified under four feeding categories as mentioned above. Usually, most of them feed on insects, worms, crickets. But with the wide range of them available, some of them can eat fruits and veggies. It is your responsibility to find out the proper diet for your reptile pet.
The digestive tracts of lizards are not meant to handle grains and large sugars; hence they shouldn’t be fed rice, bread, or other starchy food. The only human food lizards can eat is some fruits and vegetables. We have mentioned ten above, but some other fruit and vegetables you can feed them include carrots, tomatoes, papaya, fig, kiwi, etc.
While feeding your lizard fruits, it is vital to note that it shouldn’t make up to 25% of the fruit and veggies they are being given and definitely shouldn’t be more than 10% of their total diet.
What Can I Feed My Backyard Lizard?
You have probably seen those harmless creatures lounging out there in your backyard, moving around without a care in the world numerous times. Several homeowners aren’t comfortable having them there, but it’s pretty normal to have them move in and out of the garden or backyard.
Backyard lizards mainly feed on insects as well as plants. They are pretty harmless until they multiply and might begin to tamper with your plants. Yet if you decide to give them food, you can give them the suitable fruits and veggies cut to the appropriate size, even though they’d most likely appreciate some cockroaches and insects.
Do Lizards Need Water?
Yes, lizards need water. They can get it in a different form depending on the lizard species. For instance, while desert-dwelling lizards are known to absorb water through their skin rather than drinking it, others such as backyard and garden lizards need constant access to water to keep them alive.
Water is essential to lizards because, depending on species, size, and age, they can go without a meal for three weeks to two months but cannot survive without water for less than a week. Water is critical to lizards, and your pets can suffer from severe cases of dehydration if water is highly inaccessible to your reptile pet.
Methods of making water available to your pet might be spraying on plants, dropping water on leaves, or spraying water on the sides of the cage.
It is essential to note that while prioritizing the nutritional intake of lizards through their diet is necessary, water is even more critical; otherwise, they can become dehydrated. Some common signs of dehydration in reptiles include sunken eyes, dry skin, etc. Thus, it is important to make water available in their environment at all times.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.